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Mueller moving from obstruction to Russia. TRANSCRIPT: 03/30/2018. The Beat with Ari Melber

Guests: Christopher Wylie, Benjamin Fearnow, Roger McNamee, Baratunde Thurston, Sacha Jenkins

THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER March 30, 2018 Guest: Christopher Wylie, Benjamin Fearnow, Roger McNamee, Baratunde Thurston, Sacha Jenkins

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Thank you, Katy.

Tonight, Bob Mueller is on the hunt. And we are beginning to see what he is hunting for.

This is new reporting from CNN that before Trump campaign aid Rick Gates flipped, Mueller's team made something clear that they wanted information on potential collusion between Trump and the Russians. Meaning this was not just about Paul Manafort. And to be clear, NBC has not confirmed this report, but it does overlap with some of what we know, that Mueller is using Gates to tie the Trump campaign directly to the Russians.

We did show you on our program this new court filing where Mueller's team says that Gates was directly communicating with someone in 2016 to someone who had ties to Russian intelligence services. Now, did Mueller have strong evidence tying Gates to that person? And Gates have no choice but to flip. Is this information coming directly from someone around Gates? That we do not know yet.

We do have hints though of other angles that Mueller is investigating. Today news that a Trump ally was detained at Boston's airport and questioned by Mueller investigators, including about contacts with, yes, Roger Stone and WikiLeaks. And this comes amidst those other new reports that Mueller is asking question about contacts between the Trump team and the Russians at the RNC convention.

Meanwhile, there are investigators in Congress and there are investigators worried that Trump could lash out and try to get Mueller fired.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is obvious that he would like to fire him, whether he will or not is the core question. I think the President's abrupt recent actions in how he dismissed the VA secretary, the secretary of state, other key members of his cabinet, suggest that this is something he is likely to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you really go to bed at night worrying that the President will try to fire the special counsel?



MELBER: I'm joined by Maya Wiley, former council to the mayor of New York City, Eugene Robinson, a columnist for "the Washington Post."

Maya, when you see this report which again, I will reiterate we haven't confirmed, but credit where it is due, CNN says the sources show this. It is interesting because it never seemed that Bob Mueller needed Rick Gates to get Manafort. The indictment has a lot of physical, written, financial evidence. What do you think to the idea that there was more to it? That Gates was flipping on someone other than Paul Manafort?

MAYA WILEY, FORMER COUNCIL TO NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: I think it is typical strategy that you build a case from the ground up. And the fact that Rick Gates didn't seem to add much always suggested that there was something more there that we didn't know, couldn't know, and this may well be what that thing is, right?

Which is you try to -- you always -- the whole kind of argument about, well, we still need to figure out whether with there's a connection directly to Donald Trump and the crimes that are alleged against Paul Manafort aren't actually crimes connected even to Russian interference with the election, except that as we know, Paul Manafort actually headed the campaign, actually was responsible for ensuring that Donald Trump came out of the Republican convention the victor, because remember, there was an insurrection going on, the Republicans would said never Trump, and at the same time that there were meetings happening with Russians and now the question at the convention including the ambassador, Kislyak, and now the question about whether there was some - that a platform item that Russia did not like coming out of the platform at that convention, actually suggests that there really may be a way in which this was always a plan. And it also gets Mueller much closer potentially to getting Manafort to cooperate.

MELBER: Right. And the goes, Eugene Robinson, it is certainly fair for people who are loyal to Donald Trump to say that Paul Manafort's money problems don't automatically reflect poorly on Donald Trump. I think as a standalone statement that is fair.

It seems though that there is evidence that what Mueller is probing is whether those money problems, that debt, those relationships with oligarchs and other people might have led Paul Manafort to do other things in his role on the Trump campaign, that were bad, potentially illegal, and could reflect on Donald Trump.

EUGENE ROBINSON, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: That's right. I mean, the key words in what you just said are Trump campaign I think, Ari, in that. Bob Mueller's charge as he is appears to understand it, is to see if there was collusion involving Donald Trump if there was collusion involving the Trump campaign. And he is trying to answer that question.

And so I never thought that he was going to sort of stop at Paul Manafort, as if perhaps as close as he could get to answering that question, I think he is going to follow every thread as far as it can go. And yes, this latest information about what he seems to want to know from Rick Gates is very interesting. We are getting glimpses and peeks at this investigation. But of course, we can't see the whole thing, so we don't know, is this the main thrust of the investigation, is this a side thrust, but I think we will find out.

MELBER: Yes. And the people who speak, speak for various reasons. Carter Page has spoken in many mediums, including as repeatedly to my colleague Chris Hayes, but he does reveal things about the line of questioning, which is incredibly, you know, tantalizing, given that the Mueller folks never talk. Here he was talking about the line of questioning to Chris Hayes.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: Has Mueller - I know you have talked to the FBI, right?

CATER PAGE: Absolutely.

HAYES: Have they --.

PAGE: Which have been disclosed leaks to "the Washington Post." That's been out there, so.

HAYES: So, have they ever asked you about that meeting back in the RNC?

PAGE: I told them, you know, a lot of everything, you know, I had essentially been doing for quite a long time, including obviously, you know, everything in Cleveland so.

HAYES: So you did talk about that? Yes?

PAGE: Yes.


MELBER: It takes a minute, but Gene, the key there is the notion that Bob Mueller is probing the platform change. And I'll say, by the way, as a political matter, I mean, you and I have been to our share of conventions, platform is not typically considered the most important thing that happens there, but if you auction it off to a foreign government, it becomes more interesting, Gene.

ROBINSON: That's how you make a platform more important and interesting, because auctioning it off to a foreign power. And look. It was always a very curious change, right? Because the Republican Party, generally more hawkish on foreign policy, many Republicans had been sort of criticizing President Obama for not doing more to counter the Russian incursion into Ukraine, including providing heavy weapons, essentially. And so, to have the platform just abruptly back away from that, was curious at the time, it's looked curious ever since, so maybe Mueller will finally give us an explanation for why that could happen.

MELBER: Right. And that would be fascinating.

Maya, I also want to play for you, the attacks we are seeing from FOX News. Because where all this is going, we showed Senator Coons' concern, we know that Andy McCabe, the former FBI number two, basically was ousted. And that's sort of the biggest story that has never been explained, because they haven't released the report yet. But it does suggest this sharpening of Trump's attacks on the DOJ, at a time when his legal team is shrinking and that means there are fewer people are checking him. And then on FOX, you get clues to where it's all headed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tonight we are going to tell you who Robert Mueller really is.

Robert Mueller has an agenda. He is carrying out a witch hunt.

He is about as credible storming to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bob Mueller ruined the credibility of his own and the integrity of his own investigation when he hired, clearly, a very partisan team.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Robert Mueller's career has been anything but impeccable.


WILEY: Robert Mueller's career has been nothing but impeccable. And the fact that you have FOX News attacking a Republican, former FBI director who was actually deeply well-respected by both sides of the aisle, is actually shocking. It is an attack on a democratic institution that exists to be bipartisan.

Bipartisan means that you have all parties actually represented on the staffing, as Mueller's team has. And the idea that someone who has spent their career actually building a reputation as an attorney, as a prosecutor, in upholding the law, is somehow on a witch hunt when we have had no less than four indictments against people closely connected, not just to the Trump campaign, and in some of these instances to Donald Trump himself, actually begs the question about whether we really care about the democratic institution, which the FBI is a part of.

MELBER: And that's - I got to go, real quick, Gene.

ROBINSON: Yes. Real quick, Bob Mueller is also a decorated veteran. And the idea that he is some sort of partisan democrat lefty is the most ridiculous thing anyone has ever heard. It is just absurd.

MELBER: Right. And the question is who is left? It is him and Rosenstein if Donald Trump is trying to work up to the top of the chain there.

Gene Robinson and Maya Wiley, thank you for joining me on this Friday night.

Coming up, I'm going to show you how Trump's digital firm is front and center in this Mueller probe. I actually have exclusive interview with two whistleblowers who worked for them. Im very excited to hear what they have to say.

Also, a sudden leak from inside Facebook revealing how the company is focused on profits over human rights.

And my Special Report tonight, given all this is happening with Facebook, I haven't spoken out yet in detail. I have a report tonight addressed to Mark Zuckerberg.

Plus, later, Roget Stone responds to that report we did last night on him, WikiLeaks and Bob Mueller. You are looking at new video. We will explain.

And of course, if it's Friday, you know what it is, it's fallback Friday. Stay with ius.

I'm Ari Melber. You are watching THE BEAT on MSNBC.



CHRISTOPHER WYLIE, WHISTLEBLOWER: This is a company that has worked with hacked material, right. This is a company that will send out videos at people being murdered to intimidate murders. This is a company that goes out and tries to elicitly acquire, you know, live internet browsing data of everyone in entire country.


MELBER: Developing news tonight on Cambridge Analytica. Of course that's the Trump digital firm that misused Facebook profiles of 50 million Americans. In a moment, you are going to hear directly from the Cambridge whistleblower that you just saw in that clip testifying to the (INAUDIBLE) about this firm's misconduct.

But first, here is what we know about Cambridge in Russia. Last fall, Mueller had Cambridge turn over their documents from any employee who work for the Trump campaign. The firm's CEO, Alexander Knicks, testified before the House intelligence committee last year. In 2016, he also reached out to directly to, yes, Julian Assange asking for help working with WikiLeaks in the Hillary Clinton emails. Mike Flynn also revealed he was on the payroll of Cambridge's parent company. That's still got a lot of unanswered questions.

Now this firm, Cambridge Analytica, also is tied to GOP mega donor, Rebecca Mercer. Rebecca Mercer, it is her company with Steve Bannon. Now he was technically called Cambridge vice president and was very involved in their political agenda.

So Cambridge is in the center of this probe. You see it there. Ties to WikiLeaks, Facebook and Trump heavy hitters. But tonight, new questions about Cambridge's work for a Russian oil company, Lukoil, whose top executive is linked to Vladimir Putin.

Joining me now is that whistleblower, Christopher Wylie. Thanks for being part of our special. Your former company Cambridge worked for Donald Trump. It also apparently talked to this big Russian oil company, Lukoil, discussing social media marketing, any idea why an oil company would be so interested in that and do you see a potential link there in the Russia probe or that is a coincidence in your view?

WYLIE: First of all, yes, I find it very unusual that a Russian oil company wanted to use the services of Cambridge Analytica, wanted to know more about the projects that we were working on, the (INAUDIBLE) project, the data harvesting that we are doing. I find it unusual that Alexander Knicks created a presentation to a Russian oil company that talked about rumor campaigns, fake news, you know, and it more generally undermining confidence of voters in their civic institutions.

What I told the committee was that, you know, there was a risk given the relationship that Lukoil has with the FSB, which is the Russian security services, of notifying the Russian intelligence services that there was a massive data site being harvested on Americans.

MELBER: Right.

WYLIE: That the professor who managed that harvesting program was partly based out of Russia, who was also working on projects for Russians in social media profiling, in psychological profiling. And that, you know, the risk that was created was that, in notifying this company, you know, it showed them, a, what assets were there, and b where to go to get them. They didn't even - Russia to do it.

WYLIE: Right. And to be clear, a state linked oil company generally doesn't have a natural need for that kind of data and social media marketing to sell oil. I wonder, do you think that's something that Knicks -- that would have bothered Knicks or he wouldn't care?

WYLIE: I think that it's something that he might not have even thought about, which is all the more concerning, given that the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, SCL group, was also working on NATO funded projects in the Baltics which included in part, you know, Russian counter propaganda and training NATO forces in psychological operations which would have made it an intelligence target for Russia.

So you have a company that likely was being observed in some way by Russia, then interfacing with a Russian company that has, you know, very overt links with the Russian FSB.

MELBER: Right.

WYLIE: Talking about a massive data site in America. And also indeed making a pitch about, you know, rumor campaigns and undermining confidence and civic institutions. So to me, the reason why I talked to that in parliament the other day at my testimony was because I think that that's something that genuinely should be investigated, you know. It's concerning that that communication happens, you know, given what we now know about Russian interference in the American election.

MELBER: Right. And so my final question to you briefly is what do you want to get across when you do come and speak to U.S. investigators?

WYLIE: That this should be taken seriously, that this isn't just, you know, an issue for Facebook, that this isn't just, you know, a data leak, that this is something that potentially could impact the national security of the United States and the integrity of American democratic institutions, as well as institutions here in Britain and around the world.

MELBER: Christopher Wiley, I know you have taken a big risk in speaking out as a whistleblower, thank you for joining me again.

WYLIE: Cheers. Thank you for having me.

MELBER: Ahead, my special report on how the revelations about Trump's digital firm maybe damaging Facebook even more. And my message for Mark Zuckerberg.

And later, Roger Stone with a smoking response our report on THE BEAT. I will respond to the response with some facts later.


MELBER: Now to tonight's Special Report on Facebook, how this hidden video scandal rocking Trump's digital firm is doing the Facebook what years of reporting and criticism have not. It is hammering the company's value on Wall Street and finally pressing the U.S. Congress to press Mark Zuckerberg.

It's also driving new leaks from inside Facebook. Tonight there's this leaked memo that shows a top executive saying the company must pursue profitable connectivity even if it costs a life or enables terrorism organized on Facebook.

Meanwhile, the feds are probing the site. State prosecutors around the country as well. So where do we go from here? Facebook isn't going away. It's the backbone of a large part of the internet. It's the identity platform that thousands of other sites use to authenticate visitors. It's also, of course, the social and media jog or not (ph). It is part of our economy and it is clearly part of our democracy.

Facebook can improve. But so far, most of what this company's management has done shows it is not, not, trying to improve the fundamental process in the fundamental way it operates or address the conflict in its business model that uses and abuses customers. This is something we have reported on THE BEAT. The conflict means the joke is still on us, because anyone who uses Facebook is basically opting into this problem.

Stephen Colbert put it simply.


STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: It's less like they're a bank that got robbed at gunpoint, and more like a bank that just gave bank robbers your money because that's their business model.


MELBER: It was that business model that left Facebook to sit and do nothing about this data breach. Now it is apologizing for it. But they knew for years about this problem with Trump's digital firm. The only thing that changed lately is they got caught and they lost $80 billion.

Now Zuckerberg knows when companies mean business, they work in person, they send their CEO to prioritize issues. That's something he still has not done with this U.S. Congress about this data issue or the 2016 election meddling. But you see right here, that's his lawyer speaking to Congress. But it was himself Mark Zuckerberg who made time to dressed up and meet with Vladimir Putin's deputy in Russia to help keep Facebook popular there. He told them that it was an honor.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we take social networks they have become extremely popular, and thanks including to Facebook.

MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK CEO: Well, it's an honor to be here, sir. Thank you for having me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have a shirt for you.

ZUCKERBERG: Wow, that's great.


MELBER: An honor, that nice Kremlin hand shake. Again, what you see on your screen there is not something Zuckerberg has found the time to do yet. He says he soon will face the U.S. Congress.

And that was 2012. Within four year, Russia operatives, were of course, using Facebook to meddle on our elections. Russian ads viewed by over a hundred million Americans. Bob Mueller has indicted Russians for using Facebook to impersonate Americans and stage events on the ground of our country. Facebook's currently bungled response to the data beach echoes Zuckerberg's initial response to fake news which tribe on the site. As well as the people who use the site to practice racial housing discrimination. Those are some of the controversies we have covered, where Facebook would claim basically it wanted to stop this bad thing that it just discovered.

But compare that to this new memo leaking tonight which is written by a senior executive admitting a quote "ugly truth, that anything that connects people on the site is the goal, even if lives are lost." That's the mentality of the company and fake news was never a bug for Facebook. It was a feature because it was popular. And popular means profitable.

It was only the blow back in the press or from users or ultimately government regulations that can deal with that kind of motive. Now regulations can be pro or anti-freedom. Facebook famously censored speech in Turkey. It was busted for looking into developing a censorship tool that would please the Chinese government. Zuckerberg has been eyeing that large profitable Chinese market for some time.




MELBER: Zuckerberg will do all kind of things to connect, that's their big word, to compete, to win. As you just saw there, it will huddle with the Kremlin, it will innovate censorship for Chinese authoritarianism. So keep that approach in mind. I'm showing you this for a reason. When you then hear Mark Zuckerberg claim that the company actually has some kind of universal values that will protect your rights on the site.


ZUCKERBERG: The person who is putting the content on Facebook always owns the information.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So just to be clear, you are not going to sell or share any of the information on Facebook.

ZUCKERBERG: What the terms say is just we are not going to share people's information except for with the people that they have asked for it to be shared.


MELBER: Except for the people that have asked for it to be shared. Well, obviously nobody asked for this data breach by Trump's data firm that's been rocking the company. Nobody asked for that. Nobody wanted that. And as I say and I can't say enough, the company knew about that for a long time. Knew that nobody asked for it, that's why it's a breach.

Consider that other tech leaders have cautioned that the asking of customers only counts if you don't trick them, if you don't lie to them. You have to ask them in plain English. You have to get real consent. That's a point Zuckerberg's competitors at Apple have stressed.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Privacy means people know what they are signing up for in plain English, and repeatedly, ask them, ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If our customer was our product, we could make a ton of money. We have elected not to do that. Privacy to us is a human right.


MELBER: And investigators say Facebook hasn't respected the human right of privacy. The federal commission had sued Facebook for failing on privacy pledges after apps could access nearly all of users' personal data, including things they didn't even "need," quote-unquote.

Facebook also sharing user's personal information with advertisers. And when that whole scandal brewed, again, this week's scandal is not the first one, what Zuckerberg did that time was he responded by trying to turn the tables on other companies.


MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: If you look at companies, whether it's Google or Yahoo or Microsoft, right, that have search engines and ad networks, they also have a huge amount of information about you, it's just that they're collecting that about you behind your back and likely way more information than people are sharing on Facebook about themselves. I think it's just less transparent than what's happened on Facebook.


MELBER: It's just -- it's just less transparent. Again, the data breach, two years, no transparency. Now, there are counter-arguments here and they especially come from people who think don't bother being on Facebook. They say look, if you post your stuff, your information there, you might as well expect that it will be shared, leaked or abused. Well, if you think that, note that Facebook's activities go way beyond just sharing that data.

Consider this, Facebook used secret social engineering, to manipulate users emotions. In 2014, it showed half a million or more users positive or negative stories, in an artificial way, to then see if it would make those users more happy or more upset and depressed. A so-called experiment asked, if emotional states can be transferred to others with that artificial experiment and they found it did, so that Facebook could make hundreds of thousands of people sad, just by showing them a certain kind of negative information in their feed.

It would be like if on the news, instead of showing you what's happening in the world, or maybe what we think is important, we just artificially showed you strictly terrible things to test whether it makes you sadder. This is powerful stuff, it's scary, that's exactly the kind of psychological manipulation that Trump's digital firm has been marketing and yes the firm used Facebook data and yes, Bob Mueller is now probing all of that. So my argument with you tonight would be this goes way beyond what does some of your favorite movies that you put on Facebook are known to advertisers.

This is going to our democracy itself. And that's why Mark Zuckerberg's professed surprise at impacting elections is also so hollow. Back in 2012, there were reports on Facebook's growing power to shape who votes. The company also touts its own political impact at campaign and advertisers all over the world. And whistleblowers have shown how Facebook knew about these problems while it slept on them.


SANDY PARAKILAS, FORMER OPERATIONS MANAGER ON THE PLATFORM TEAM, FACEBOOK: It was well understood both internally and externally that there were risks with respect to the way the Facebook platform was handling data. There were concerns from press and the public. I don't -- I don't think it was secret that you know, this was a problem.

SHERYL SANDBERG CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, FACEBOOK: We definitely didn't realize the gravity of these issues sooner.


MELBER: That's a whistleblower laying out the case, versus a Facebook executive again claiming they're always surprised when these things happens. I want to show you another contrast. Zuckerberg's new tune to what insiders say is happening.


ZUCKERBERG: We have a basic responsibility to protect people's data, and if we can't do that, then we don't deserve to have the opportunity to serve people. So our responsibility now is to make sure this doesn't happen again.

CHRISTOPHER WYLIE, RESEARCH DIRECTOR, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA: To be honest, this feels more like a P.R. effort than any you know, any sort of genuine attempt to fix the issue. They proactively tried to intimidate the Guardian and the New York Times last week by threatening to sue them if they released this story.


MELBER: That's the Cambridge whistleblower talking about how Facebook's first response was not to own up to the data breach but to try to stop public reports of it. Now let's look at one key part of Zuckerberg's big P.R. tour. He now claims to be open to the exact regulation that his company has been lobbying against. And I've got to say to Mark, this one takes a lot of chutzpah


ZUCKERBERG: I actually am not sure we shouldn't be regulated. There are things like ads transparency regulation that I would love to see. But if you look at how much regulation there is around advertising on T.V., in print, it's just not clear why there should be less on the internet.


MELBER: He's referring to regulation though of political ads online which Facebook lobbied against. Facebook paying lobbyists to kill the regulation. They argued that telling customers who funded the political ad was a bad idea because the ads were too small. So the thing you just heard Zuckerberg say, that's what he was spending through $10 million at ten different -- 11 different lobbying firms to kill that and other regulations. When Mark Zuckerberg says he's not sure that Facebook should not be regulated, that's apparently Facebook speak for he is sure because he spent $10 million to stop it. When Mark Zuckerberg says the company cares about this breach, remember it didn't care or do anything until it was busted. And while Facebook touts its impact on media and users and democracy itself when it pitches its products, it's Zuckerberg who infamously played so dumb when presented with the idea that fake news impacts people, a tune he's only recently begun to change.


ZUCKERBERG: Personally, I think the idea that you know, fake news on Facebook, of which, you know, it's a very small amount of the content, influenced the election in any way I think is a pretty crazy idea.

I'm sure someone's trying, right, and I'm sure that there's you know, a V-2 of -- a version two of whatever the Russian effort was in 2016, I'm sure they're working on that and there going to be some new tactics that we need to make sure that we observe and get in front of.


MELBER: Now Mark Zuckerburg is sure someone is trying to misuse his site to affect the future elections. We're just not sure, Mark, if you're trying. We'll be back in 90 seconds.


MELBER: We've been looking at unanswered questions for Facebook and Russia probe as well as this new company memo I just mentioned. A Facebook Executive wrote that they favored growth at any cost and in the memo is timing an issue, it came out just one day after a Chicago man was shot and killed on a Facebook live stream which many people criticize. The memo shows, basically, the company's reaction. Today the Facebook executives who wrote it as well as Mark Zuckerberg are disavowing aspects of it. I'm joined by Roger McNamee an early Facebook investor and Ben Fearnow, a former Facebook employee who was fired for breaking a company nondisclosure agreement. He's now Deputy Editor at Newsweek. Thanks to both of you being here. Benjamin, you have, I guess, NDA issues, those are in the news a lot. Did Michael Cohen ever facilitate a payment for you is my first question?

BENJAMIN FEARNOW, FORMER NEWS CURATOR, FACEBOOK: No, that went down in a very different fashion.

MELBER: My second question is I just went through a lot of the reporting we've seen now what's wrong with Facebook. The new memo seem to drop the mask a little and show how important connectivity and profit is. What's most important in your view, having been on the inside?

FEARNOW: Right, loose lips sinking ships tonight on MSNBC. I think the -- - well, the number one thing is that even in the age of Trump, it's great to see that you can put out a tweet response, a positive response, comes out and is able to say something as ridiculous as I didn't mean it when I wrote it.

MELBER: This Facebook person who's disavowing, yes.

FEARNOW: Right, Boz has you know, stepping away from it. But at the same time, the leaks have come out since then in a sort of day of inception of leaks at Facebook that shows that people's reaction at the company to the leak itself, saying you know, who are these people within the company? You know, it's definitely a direct kind of assault to figure out, you know. They're less mad about what actually was said in the memo than you know, the way it came out.

MELBER: You're saying a cult -- a cult of secrecy around this. Now to be fair, of course like any larger organization, people in Facebook and reporting suggest us who disagree with that, who didn't like that that was being said. But speak to it in the fake news and Russian context which is that the company has come out and said, oh, we're surprised and we don't like this, but the in fact, if something is connecting and profiting, they do like that.

FEARNOW: Right, so I think that the big thing with this specific leak is that you know, there -- it falls in line with their whole you know, break stuff mentality there. That if they can push together and have this conversation in private, that the company can expand. They can do this. But the problem is they've been having that conversation in private, behind closed doors for two years and they've clearly has the last two years have shown, they have not improved the business ethics and you know, the structure.

MELBER: Let's talk about -- and I'm going to have to ask this to you and then Roger, on the sort of the get it meter 0, don't get it all and 10, get it completely, what score would you give Mark Zuckerburg in 2016 and today?

FEARNOW: I think that he's -- they're still trying this --

MELBER: 0 to 10 in 2016?

FEARNOW: I give him -- I give him a four.

MELBER: And today?

FEARNOW: And you know, it's got to be worse, a two.

MELBER: You think he's getting worse? Roger?

I give him a 0 before, I give him a .5 now.

MELBER: Go on Roger, explain why.

MCNAMEE, FACEBOOK INVESTOR: I think the issue here is just a frame of reference. I mean, Ari, you nailed it in your essay there a moment ago. The problem here is the core of the business model. And I'm actually very sympathetic to Mark in this whole issue because from his perspective, he's given the world this incredible gift, he's connected 2.1 billion people and all he had to do to do that was to give away all of our privacy and make us vulnerable to election manipulation, a few other minor side effects. And I think he looks at this whole thing and wonders why we are all not more grateful. And -- seriously, I mean, I think he has built this incredible thing.

But there is this giant flaw in the business model and you pointed it out, we're pointing it out, Ben's pointing it out, it's there. It's time to recognize it. It must be incredibly hard for him and for Sheryl Sandberg to accept that this thing is not going well. And I feel that sympathy but the reality is there is no choice. They must get this right because the country they live in, countries around the world are depending on them. Because right now bad actors can create anarchy on their platform and they can do it more or less at will and there's nothing in place today to fix that.

MELBER: Right, and this is not a technology story, it's a democracy story.

MCNAMEE: Exactly.

MELBER: And it seems that that is sinking in on some people a little bit at a time. I was actually surprised your rating was that low. I asked it's only fair I'll answer, I would have given him a three in 2016, and something more like a five today. There appears to be growth. Benjamin Fearnow and Roger McNamee, thanks for being part of our special discussion here. I want to turn to the other exclusive whistle blower interview because we got a lot tonight.

This is someone who worked at that Trump digital firm, Cambridge Analytica. Until three weeks ago, Brittany Kaiser, a top exec there, she had a key to Steve Bannon's townhouse in Washington, a so-called Breitbart embassy. She spoke at CPAC in 2016 on with Kellyanne Conway, spent the election night at the Trump victory party with mega-donor Rebekah Mercer, she also just left Cambridge, she also worked for Barack Obama, she's pretty interesting and this is her first T.V. interview anywhere in the world. I spoke to her from Bangkok, Thailand beginning with her thoughts on Facebook.


MELBER: Did you know that Cambridge had the lengths of data that we're now learning?

I was copied into the information that we gave to Facebook which in January 2016 are chief data officers, said we deleted the data sites that we were asked to delete. Now, and I find it incredibly irresponsible of Facebook that they did not send anybody to come and check. That seems like a very simple piece of due diligence for a company that until last week worth $500 billion.

MELBER: You think they didn't care?

KAISER: I think that the data policy has been only exploitive and incredibly irresponsible.


MELBER: Irresponsible. That's how she put what Cambridge has done with Facebook's lax approach. We also spoke, and this is important, about what this digital firm that work for Trump did with the data and whether any of this could be bound up in the big question of Russian meddling.


KAISER: Facebook gave probably thousands of different companies access to this data. We were only asked in December of 2015 about seven months later, if we still possessed that data and were asked to delete it in January 2016. I guarantee you that Cambridge Analytica was probably one of thousands of companies that still possessed that data, much longer than we should have.

MELBER: Is it possible that Cambridge or other data firms that had more of an American expertise might have somehow been helped, used or interacted with the Russian operation?

KAISER: Anybody in the world can purchase and license the data of individuals in America. You don't have to be an American company, you don't have to be working for a political campaign. And that means that individuals and their data sets are exploited and they can be exploited by anyone without the help of an American firm.


MELBER: Bob Mueller may want to know about that and Mark Zuckerburg may be asked about it in his upcoming Congressional testimony. Ahead, why is tonight different from all other night? Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. It's a special holiday "FALLBACK" straight ahead.


MELBER: It's Friday on THE BEAT, and you know what that means, it is time to fall back. I am joined tonight by Author Baratunde Thurston, Co-Founder of Cultivated Wit, a former daily show producer, and Mass Appeals Sacha Jenkins is here for the first time. He's a Director and Executive Producer of Rapture, a Netflix documentary about Nas, Dave East, Just Blaze and Rapsody that debuts tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hip-hop is about being truthful, you tell the real story. The definition of power is freedom. If you have power, you're free.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Music for me is in my identity, it's in my DNA.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just Blaze for days and days.


MELBER: Just Blaze as they say. Sorry I had to do that. Baratunde, who needs to fall back?

BARATUNDE THURSTON, CO-FOUNDER OF CULTIVATED WIT: Oh, man, surveillance capitalism needs to fall back. This is a term popularized by this academic Shoshana Zuboff and the idea that data extraction, mass surveillance, that the profit motive of most internet businesses these days. So Facebook is essentially an intelligence gathering service masquerading behind birthday reminders and like baby photos.

MELBER: When you put it like that, it's not so cute.

THURSTON: It is not so cute. It's actually very serious. We've been told for a long time that there is no cost. Like if you have nothing to hide, have you nothing to worry about. It turns out our Social Security Numbers being hacked at Equifax, that we have police arresting kids on false gang charges based social media activity and of course our election and our whole democracy as you just so eloquently presented under attack. So if your business model is stalking your users, you need to fall back.

MELBER: Wow, Baratunde, bringing the footnotes to the "FALLBACK." You know, we like that. That's a little liner notes. Sacha, thanks for being here. I'm excited about your documentary. Of course, who needs to fall back?

SACHA JENKINS, CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER, MASS APPEAL: Your peeps at Uber need to fall all the way back. I mean, the idea of driverless cars, I mean, that's just bananas to me in the first place. For a multitude of reasons, I mean, people need jobs, you know. So what's going to happen? All of a sudden we're going to have driverless cars and no jobs and then the risk of people dying actually not only are jobs being killed but unfortunately people are losing their lives, as well.

MELBER: Yes, and it's scary. I mean, you know what's scarier than getting that one-star rating from your driver is having no driver and feeling at risk, you know. You got anyone else to fall back this week?

THURSTON: I would say Wilbur Ross at Commerce who is sneaking in the citizenship question on the Census. They're asking a question but the deeper aim is so people don't answer any of them. This is an attempt to buy essentially a white supremacist administration, to lock up as many black people as possible, to deport as many brown people as possible. And by putting those sensitive question it on the Census, you're signaling to immigrant communities don't answer the Census. That affects representation, that affects federal dollars allocation. So if your business model -- again, if you depend, if your idea of whiteness is so fragile that you can't even count people of color you need to fall back.

MELBER: Wow, Wilbur Ross catching it falling back. And you put it -- and you put it well because the real question with that, right, is what does the government do with this information? The information goes to power, it goes to resources. My "FALLBACK" nominee less important is called prosthesis. Take a look -- remember in Aliens, when Sigourney Weaver was in Aliens, she's viewed there like in the robot suit? Well, now, they want to make this real. This is a thing, I'm going to show you the real one, prosthesis in action. A giant exoskeleton that amplifies the pilot's movements, this company Furrion wants to let you basically take one of these around you know, Central Park. I don't think it's a good idea.

THURSTON: What could possibly go wrong, Ari?

MELBER: I want them to fall back.

THURSTON: What could possibly go wrong?

MELBER: My thanks to Baratunde and Sacha. Up next, Roger Stone put out a very big response to the special we did last night and Sam Nunberg's accusations about him. And I will give you my response to that next.


MELBER: Bob Mueller is asking Trump allies about Julian Assange. He just detained a new witness questioning him at an airport on Wednesday. This investigative interest in Assange, of course, overlaps with the report we did just last night on THE BEAT probing Trump Adviser Roger Stone's relationship to WikiLeaks. That report broke news and drew a heated response from Stone today. Several outlets have been covering that. And Roger Stone posted a new video right there on Instagram while smoking a cigar with his grandson. In it, he attacks his former protege Sam Nunberg. Stone also posted other messages saying those associates who called him a liar, they are actually the liars. He was responding to some of this.


SAM NUNBERG, FORMER AIDE, TRUMP CAMPAIGN: I think he's trying to ingratiate himself back with Trump. The minute he told me on the phone that he had met with Assange I assumed he was lying.

RANDY CREDICO, RADIO HOST AND COMEDIAN: I know Assange very well and I can tell you with authority that Assange never had conversations with Roger Stone or an intermediary.

NICK AKERMAN, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: What was Roger Stone doing talking to Guccifer 2.0, communicating with him on a regular basis, communicating -- claiming to communicate with Julian Assange repeated times and backing off it.


MELBER: Two of the people you saw there in those interviews are people who are in this wider Trump orbit who were once friends with Roger Stone. Nunberg, his protege, Credico is the man Stone claimed was his link to Julian Assange. The important point tonight is not that this whole crew is getting messy, it's that Mueller is bearing down on the links to Russia, Guccifer, and WikiLeaks and news is literally breaking about that line of questioning tonight and our reporting is showing how Stone is mixed up in all of that, with WikiLeaks and Guccifer. The hacker recently alleged to be a spy operative for Vladimir Putin. That leaves a lot of big questions for Roger Stone which he may have to answer some day.

Now, the invite remains open for him to address those questions right here on this show just like Nunberg and Credico did. They faced up in person and well, frankly just like Roger Stone used to do with me on air. I will mention briefly that Roger Stone also posted several new vulgar attacks on me personally as if he thinks this is, I don't know, some kind of personal feud, it is not. These are just factual questions. If Roger wants a personal spat, he'll have to find someone else for that. It was Aubrey Drake Graham put it best, I've got to stay in my zone. You say we've been beefing but Roger, you on your own. That's our show, you can check out a very special edition of the last word tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern. And up next it's "HARDBALL."